Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
12 June 2020
RUB39 billion (USD$629 million)
Also Known As: Borei II, Borei-A, Borey-A, Knyaz Vladimir, Project 955U and Svyatitel Nikolai
Krylov Research Institute, Rubin and Sevmash
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Description: The Russian Navy Project 955 or Borey/Borei, 'Northwind' in English, is a new strategic nuclear submarine class (SSBN) designed to replace current Project 941 (Typhoon NATO name) and Project 667BDRM (Delta IV NATO name) boats built by the former Soviet Union and in service with the Russian Navy. The Borey-class submarines development started in the mid-1980s at Rubin Design Bureau and are the quietest produced ever in Russia and the former Soviet Union. Ships from Project 955 and the Project 855 share parts and hull design to achieve lower maintenance costs and higher spare parts availability. All the submarines are being build by Sevmash shipyards in the White Sea region, Russia. The Russian Navy plans to procure up to eight submarines before 2020 each armed with 16 Bulava Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs) capable of carrying up to 10 nukes. These boats will remain in service with the Russian Navy's strategic submarine fleet until 2040-2050 timeframe.
The Project 955 boats are five times quieter than Project 971 Akula and Project 949A Oscar II nuclear attack submarines which were the quietest boats ever produced by the former Soviet Union. Ascending rescue chambers for the whole crew were provided to prevent a disaster similar to what happened with the Kursk boat in 2000 at the Barents Sea. Besides, the Boreys are the first Russian ballistic submarines fitted with a single-shaft water-jet propulsion system providing high propulsion performance instead of twin propulsion system. In addition these boats have two hinged thrusters and retractable horizontal bow planes with flaps for enhanced maneuverability. One key advantage of the new ballistic submarines is their ability to launch a Bulava missile on-the-move and/or to launch them from under the Arctic ice.
The Project 955A, also referred to as Project 955U, is an improved design of the Project 955 ballistic submarine featuring lower physical fields thus leading to improved stealth signature as well as more advanced communication and detection systems. The Project 955A class submarines also add improved crew habitability and survivability. Originally it was reported to be carrying 20 Bulava ballistic missiles instead of 16. The lead boat of Project 955A, named Knyaz Vladimir (formerly Svyatitel Nikolai), is expected to be commissioned by the Russian Navy in 2015. At least the new class will consist of five boats but additional ships could be ordered after 2020 as replacement for the surviving Project 667BDRM ballistic submarines. In early 2012, the Russian Navy plans called for the procurement of 10 Boreys by 2020. In February 2013, the Russian Navy stated the Project 955A will carry 16 ballistic missiles. These boats feature eight torpedo tubes (four 533m and four 650mm) with 40 torpedoes and missiles. In 2018 the Russian Navy increased the procurement of Borei-A to two additional units totaling seven boats.
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